Friday, December 28, 2018

Saturday, December 22, 2018

'Tis the season to be jolly…


And it certainly is for the rich, who’ll be rocking around the Christmas tree snorting coke and drinking themselves silly for days on end whilst the rest of us try to make the most of the ‘festive season’ in the midst of the worst slump since 1929.
We are, supposedly, celebrating the birth of the founder of Christianity. But Jesus seldom gets a look in these days. As usual, the great and the good will make their annual obeisance to the Nazarene, whom they claim to worship, but whose teachings they ignore for the other 364 days of the year.
We’ll get more drivel from the clergy, who reserve their most pious platitudes for the supposed birthday of the ‘Prince of Peace’ on 25th December. But like the Pharisees, whom they pretend to scorn, these charlatans ignore the teachings of their Master who drove the money-changers out of the Temple and said: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
For some of us Christmas is, indeed, a welcome break from the drudgery of work. It’s a chance to put one’s feet up, eat and drink and enjoy the life the rich enjoy in their mansions every day of their worthless lives. For others, the homeless, unemployed and destitute victims of the capitalist crisis, it’s just another day of despair. The festive clichés of the politicians and the princes of the church are meaningless to them.
But events across the Channel have cast a dark shadow over the celebrations of the ruling class this year. The ‘Yellow Vests’ are an unwelcome reminder to the bourgeoisie of the wrath of the masses that overthrew the hated Bourbon dynasty in France in 1789 and got rid of the Czar in 1917, whilst the splits in Tory ranks over Brexit have raised the prospect of a snap general election and the return to power of a Labour government committed to restoring workers’ rights and the welfare state.
Gone are the days when people listened to the media gurus who told us that socialism was finished and that that the greatest virtue of humanity was the possession of the largest amount of money.
Hedonism lies at the core of the capitalist ethos. But the pursuit of pleasure can only be done by those who can afford it – as the rest of us discover when the decorations come down and the relentless pile of bills mounts up in January.
The ruling class maintains that capitalism is the only game in town. And it is – but only for themselves. Capitalism, in the final analysis, is simply a system designed to perpetuate the rule of the landowners, industrialists and capitalists to ensure that a tiny handful of parasites can live the lives of Roman emperors on the backs of the millions upon millions of working people. And so it will continue until we end the system altogether.
As we coast into the New Year we’ll be told to make the traditional ‘resolutions’ to give up smoking, lose weight and do more exercise that most people abandon by the second week in January. So let’s make a couple of New Year resolutions of our own that we can keep. Let’s make 2019 the year we leave the European Union and sweep Labour back to power!

Playing the ‘Islamic’ card – imperialism’s dangerous game in the Middle East


Review
by Ben Soton

Secret Affairs Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam by Mark Curtis. Updated Profile Books edition, 2018. Published by Serpent’s Tail. Paperback 554pp. £10.99.
ISBN-10 1788160223;
ISBN-13: 978-1788160223

In Secret Affairs Mark Curtis gives an insight into the shadowy relationship between British imperialism and what he calls ‘Radical Islam’. Radical Islam is itself a point of contention; the term Radical is usually associated with socially progressive movements of the left. The movements described in this book are anything but progressive. Based on older interpretations of Islam, they uphold reactionary social systems and oppose social change.
Curtis points out that these movements offer no alternative to the neo-liberal policies pursued by some of the regimes they claim to oppose. For this reason, they have acted as convenient allies for imperialism in the Middle East and beyond.
The two main sponsors of Islamic terrorism today are Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
And the story really begins after the Second World War, when Britain needed allies in the Middle East to undermine secular nationalist and communist movements who were waging a struggle against imperialism and demanding social progress. Curtis provides a detailed account of how Islamic movements were used in Iran against the government of Mosaddeq in Iran, Nasser in Egypt and Sukarno in Indonesia; as well as propping up the Jordanian monarchy. But on Afghanistan the author reverts to imperialist thinking when talking about the Soviet “occupation” of that country.
In 1978 a popular uprising led by the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan established a socialist-oriented government. Right from the start the people’s government faced campaigns of terror from drug-crazed jihadists backed by British and US Imperialism.  In 1979, after repeated requests, the Soviet Union sent military aid.
The people’s government stood up to Islamist terror and actually outlasted the Soviet Union; surviving until 1992, when the jihadists over-ran Kabul.
The book reminds us that the terrorists planted a bomb in Kabul airport killing a number of school children; adding that Margaret Thatcher expressed support for this incident.
Curtis explains how the organisations that carried out terrorist attacks in Britain, such as the 7/7 Bombings in 2005, originated in the Afghan conflict. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan pumped large sums of money into Islamic organisations in Europe in order to recruit foot soldiers for their reactionary crusade, with the backing of the British Government. Years later these same movements commit atrocities on our streets and threaten community cohesion.
Later in the book Curtis covers events such as the conflict in former Yugoslavia, campaigns against Colonel Gaddafi in Libya and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. This well researched book contains an array of details listing various contacts between senior civil servants, army officers and diplomats with members of Islamist groups. He points out that the reason why Islamic terror suspects are often subject to illegal rendition and imprisoned in camps such as Guantanamo Bay is because any public trial might be somewhat embarrassing.  One can only speculate but this might explain why Osama Bin Laden was assassinated rather than brought to trial.
This book covers a number of themes. One is the underhand nature of British foreign policy – often supporting both sides in a conflict. This was the case with both the Arab–Israeli War of 1948 and the Iran–Iraq War of the 1980s. Curtis believes that British Government policy has been fuelled by a form of short termism, whereby organisations or even whole countries can be utilised and then simply dropped. This policy continues to this day, even to the extent of tolerating more extreme opponents of the Saudi regime, based on the policy that one day they may be that country’s policy makers. Another is the role of the financial sector in depositing funds for terrorist groups. This became especially significant after the oil price rise of 1973. when successive government encouraged the Saudis to deposit their oil wealth in the British banks. As a result, we have seen the creation of what he describes as ‘Londonistan’, where our capital has been used as a safe haven for those plotting terrorist attacks elsewhere.
Despite incorrect use of terminology, Curtis demolishes the concept of the ‘War on Terror’. He points out that if the British and US governments really wanted to oppose terrorism then they would have attacked Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, not Iraq. The origins of Islamic terror lie in British imperialism’s use of reactionary Islam as a strategic policy tool since the Second World War. This book is a useful source of reference against those who attack Jeremy Corbyn’s alleged terrorist links. We should be able to throw arguments back in their faces and politely inform them that it is the actions of our own ruling class that threaten our safety and security.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Hands off the Transnistrian Communist party!

20th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties

joint statement
 
The authorities of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR) on June 6th  2018 arrested the Secretary of the Central Council of the UPC-CPSU, the leader of the Communists of Pridnestrovie Oleg Olegovich Khorzhan. This happened after several of our comrades had already been detained.
Against the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Pridnestrovian Communist party, a Deputy of the Supreme Council of the PMR, a completely absurd sentence was passed to Oleg Khorzhan, who is known for his courageous and uncompromising struggle for law enforcement, and who is occused of attacking law enforcement officers. In this way, the authorities are trying to intimidate all independent-minded citizens and to extinguish the growing discontent in society with the growth of social problems.
The political regime of Transnistria, calling itself democratic, arranges shameful persecution of opposition politicians in the interests of the oligarchy. In fact, there is a repression of the whole family of Oleg Khorzhan. In pursuit of Communists, the political regime is going the way of the Nazi "forest brothers" and “S.Bandera’s forces”.
Last year, the entire planet celebrated the 100th anniversary of  Great October. 132 delegations came to Russia from all over the world. It was decided to fight collectively and vigorously against the fans of Hitler, Pinochet and all manifestations of neo-Nazism. And the leadership of Transnistria allows itself tricks in the spirit of those whose ideas and actions have long been condemned by the world community.
The Union of Communist Parties, the people's patriotic forces are indignant at the pressure on our like-minded people. Genuine Marxist-Leninist parties always stand on the position of protecting the right of the nation to self-determination. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the right of the Transnistrian people to self-determination was violated by the authorities of bourgeois Moldova. The Communists were at the forefront of the defenders of freedom and independence of the young Transnistrian state. Many of our comrades and friends gave their lives for peace and tranquility, for genuine democracy and social justice on the Transnistrian land.
We strongly protest against political provocations and express solidarity with the Transnistrian Communists. We demand the immediate release of Oleg Khorzhan and all the illegally detained!
We officially warn the President of the PMR ,V. Krasnoselsky, and the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Republic, S. Scherba, are personally responsible for the life and health of political prisoners. We will take all measures to free our comrades and stop the tyranny. We will use all the necessary measures of legal protection and hope for broad support of the progressive forces of the planet.
We demand the abolition of the sentence on trumped-up case! 
We demand an end to the political violence! 
Freedom to Oleg Khorzhan!
 Hands off the Transnistrian Communist party!

 Athens, November 2018
  1. New Communist Party of Britain
  2. Communist Party of Bulgaria
  3. Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
  4. Communist Party in Denmark
  5. Communist Party of Estonia
  6. Communist Party of Finland
  7. Unified Communist Party of Georgia
  8. Hungarian Workers' Party
  9. Party of the Communists of Kyrgyzstan
  10. Socialist Party of Latvia
  11. Communist Party of Malta
  12. Communist Party of Norway
  13. Communist Party of Pakistan
  14. Palestinian Communist Party
  15. Palestinian People's Party
  16. Paraguayan Communist Party
  17. Romanian Socialist Party
  18. Communist Party of the Russian Federation
  19. UCP-CPSU
  20. New Communist Party of Yugoslavia
  21. Communists of Serbia
  22. Communist Party of Sri Lanka                             
  23. Communist Party of Swaziland

Hands off the Communist Party of Ukraine!

20th International meeting of Communist and Workers Parties
joint statement 







The Parties -- members of the XX International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties express its support to the Communist Party of Ukraine and demands that the Ukrainian authorities immediately stop persecution and terror against Party members, stop persecution of dissent, falsification of history and glorification of Nazi collaborators from the OUN-UPA, divisions and battalions of the Wehrmacht and the SS.
After the armed coup d'état in 2014 fabricated criminal cases were lodged against the Communist Party and the Communists of Ukraine, the Party was excluded from participation at the elections and is subject to a court trial aimed to ban it.
For almost five years searches of the offices of the Communist Party, attacks on its members and supporters are ongoing only because of the oppositional position of the CPU against the power.
The parties-members of the XX International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties call on the Communist and workers' parties of the world to urge national governments and parliaments to stop supporting the Nazi militarists of Ukraine,to push the ruling regime of Ukraine to stop the conflict in the East of Ukraine,to stop police and gang violence against Communists and dissidents and glorification of Nazi collaborators.

Athens November 2018

  
  1. Party of Labour of Austria
  2. Communist Party of Belgium
  3. Brazilian Communist Party
  4. New Communist Party of Britain
  5. AKEL, Cyprus
  6. Communist Party in Denmark
  7. Communist Party of Estonia
  8. Communist Party of Finland
  9. French Communist Party
  10. Unified Communist Party of Georgia
  11. Communist Party of Greece
  12. Tudeh Party of Iran
  13. The Worker's Party of Ireland
  14. Hungarian Workers' Party
  15. Socialist Party, Lithuania
  16. Communist Party of Malta
  17. Communist Party of Mexico
  18. Communist Party of Norway
  19. Communist Party of Pakistan
  20. Palestinian Communist Party
  21. Palestinian People's Party
  22. Paraguayan Communist Party
  23. Portuguese Communist Party
  24. Romanian Socialist Party
  25. Communist Party of the Russian Federation
  26. UCP-CPSU
  27. New Communist Party of Yugoslavia
  28. Communists of Serbia
  29. Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain
  30. Communist Party of Sri Lanka                             
  31. Communist Party of Swaziland
  32. Sudanese Communist Party
  33. Communist Party of Ukraine
  34. Communist Party USA

IN SUPPORT OF VLADIMIR BESSONOV

20th International Communist and Workers Parties Conference

joint statement

In November this year communist Vladimir Bessonov, then a parliamentarian at the State Duma (CPRF) was convicted by the Court of Rostov-on-Don City on charges of use of violence against authority during his rally with voters organised with participation of three parliamentary opposition parties.
Five minutes before the end of the meeting, the police, under the command of the head of the Rostov region police, organised a provocative action. Specifically, police officers, some of whom were armed, aggressively and illegally cut off and broke up the rally being held by opposition representatives.
In fact the security forces made very serious allegations against Vladimir Bessonov, who was justifiably reacting against the authorities’ illegal attempts to break up the rally and finally he was sentenced to imprisonment.
Defendant's lawyers rightly believe that the Court has violated the significant articles of the Constitution of the Russian Federation as well as the ones of the European Convention on Human Rights. Moreover, it has disregarded some key evidences like videotapes, expert’s conclusions as well as testimony of of 53 eye-witnesses.
“Bessonov’s case ” confirms that persecution of a prominent, consistent and well-known opposition activist in Russia, is another example of provocation against those who has position different from that of authority’s aspirations. Ultimatly it is aimed at reducing protest and opposition activity in Russia as a whole.
The participants of the 20th International Meeting of Communist and Worker’s Parties strongly condemn that judicial persecution of communist Vladimir Bessonov based on allegations and demand the reverse of his unlawful sentence.

Athens, November 2018

Signed by:
  1. Party of Labour of Austria
  2. Communist Party of Belgium
  3. New Communist Party of Britain
  4. AKEL, Cyprus
  5. Communist Party of Estonia
  6. Unified Communist Party of Georgia
  7. Communist Party of Greece
  8. Hungarian Workers' Party
  9. Tudeh Party of Iran
  10. Communist Party of Malta
  11. Communist Party of Mexico
  12. Communist Party of Norway
  13. Communist Party of Pakistan
  14. Palestinian Communist Party
  15. Paraguayan Communist Party
  16. Portuguese Communist Party
  17. Romanian Socialist Party
  18. Communist Party of the Russian Federation
  19. UCP-CPSU
  20. New Communist Party of Yugoslavia
  21. Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain
  22. Communist Party of Sri Lanka                             
  23. Sudanese Communist Party
  24. Communist Party of Swaziland

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The struggle against exploitation and imperialist war


Andy Brooks addressing conference
By Andy Brooks

Delegations from 91 communist parties, representing 73 countries, took part in the 20th international meeting of communist and workers’ parties that was held in the Greek capital of Athens last month. New Communist Party (NCP) leader Andy Brooks, together with Peter Hendy from the Central Committee, took part in the congress at the headquarters of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), where the first conference began in 1998. The theme of the meeting was the task of the working class and its political vanguard in the struggle against exploitation and imperialist wars. This is the NCP’s contribution to the debate.

We meet again at a time of sharpening contradictions – and the primary contradiction in the world today is that between US imperialism and the rest of the world it seeks to dominate.
When the Cold War ended the bourgeoisie of Europe as a whole closed ranks behind the US bid to rule the world in the name of the “new world order”. They supported US “regime change” in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine, and supported US efforts to overthrow the Syrian government.
Licking the boots of the Americans has been the policy of the British ruling class since the Second World War in the belief that this would help ensure continued US protection of their global interests in the post-colonial world. To a certain degree it did but only when it served the over-arching interests of American imperialism.
The Trump administration has widened existing divisions within America’s ruling circles over how to pursue those interests. Donald Trump claims that the Republicans want to “Make America Great Again”. But that is exactly what the Democrats want as well. The entire American ruling class wants to establish US hegemony over the world. What divides them is how to achieve it.
During his presidential campaign Trump claimed he was in favour of a rapprochement with the Russians. In the White House however, Trump is a prisoner of the most aggressive circles within the American ruling class.
Democrat leaders still believe in the ‘new world order’, though they now prefer to call it “globalisation”. Trump, on the other hand, represents circles who want to cut back US military expenditure in Europe and north-east Asia so that they can concentrate on controlling the global energy market by taking over the entire Middle East and restoring US imperialism’s hegemony over south and central America.
In Britain working people have rallied to Jeremy Corbyn’s left social-democratic Labour banner amidst increasing demands for a new referendum or another general election to end the crisis over Brexit.
The call for a second referendum, which began the day after the Remainers lost the first one in 2016, comes from the Europhile wing of the ruling class with the support of many Labour MPs, the Liberal-Democrats and Scottish Nationalists, most of the trade union leadership, the European Union (EU) institutions and the Soros foundation.
Their objective is, of course, to force the May government to agree to a new vote or call for an early general election. This, they believe, will result in a Labour minority government dependent on the Scottish nationalists and the Liberal Democrats, whose support can only be bought with a second referendum, which they believe is now winnable.
The problem we face is that amongst Jeremy Corbyn’s own supporters there are many who believe that “Another Europe is Possible” whilst the old mainstream Brexit campaign that was largely based on the chauvinist and anti-immigration platform of UKIP reinforced the claims of the Europhiles within the labour movement that Brexit would lead to further attacks on the unions and what’s left of the ‘welfare state’.
Most of the unions have swallowed the Brussels lies that the EU safeguards workers’ rights and guarantees jobs. This is reflected in Remainer support within the Labour Party that goes far beyond the Blairite ranks in parliament. This view must be challenged. But although British communists, of all hues, have long opposed the EU and the Treaty of Rome, the left case against the EU has still to be won within the labour movement.
The New Communist Party has never confused the Labour Party with a revolutionary party nor imagined that we can overthrow the bourgeoisie through parliamentary elections. But we believe that a Labour government, with its organisational links with the trade unions and the co-operative movement, offers the best option for the working class in the era of bourgeois parliamentary democracy.
Our strategy is for working class unity and our campaigns are focused on defeating the right-wing within the movement, and strengthening the left within the Labour Party and the unions. We support Labour’s demands for the restoration of trade union rights, progressive taxation, state welfare and a public sector dedicated to meeting the people’s needs.
We know that social democracy of whatever trend can never lead to socialism. But the struggles of the future can only come from a labour movement confident to lead the struggle for revolutionary change.
Our party came into being out of the struggle against revisionism, with the intention that we serve the interests of the working class. We shall not be diverted from that. Let us work together to build the movement that will ensure that this century becomes the era of socialism.